Writers Reviewing Writers with Julie Hutchings

JHutchingsIf one author writing within a genre thinks another in the same genre is absolutely horrid, should a public review be left and why?

My debut novel is of the vampire variety. Needless to say, there are plenty of vampire novels out there to read, some may say too many. And of course, when you have a plethora of work to look at, some stand out as particularly terrible, just as some stand out as benchmarks.

I’m a big fan of speaking your mind, but not of running your mouth. Say something if there’s a point. And I don’t think there is any point to putting up a derogatory review for the sake of yapping your flapper and making yourself feel superior.

I’ll still leave a review, an honest one, but if it’s just a plain awful book, it will be short, pointing out the one or two things I did find merit in, and I’ll plainly state what I did not find to my liking. Because that’s all it really is; not to my liking. Someone  else may find it to be amazing. Literature speaks to different people for different reasons. Reading in your genre can be difficult for the fact that you tend to find what you would do differently, i.e, better. But I read with an open mind, and try to think of what I would write to portray the same thing that author was trying to. Why wasn’t it successful for me? What is the difference between that author’s voice and my own?

Again, when you talk about vampire novels, the scathing comments one constantly hears about Twilight spring to mind. After reading the series, I was entranced by it, and could not quite put my finger on why I was. I grew tired really quickly of people saying how badly it was written. The fact remains that the series is the most popular vampire series since Interview WithThe Vampire for a reason. It appeals to every age, and is something we can all relate to—finding something and someone absolutely extraordinary in your ordinary world. The writing style may not be what many authors find to be developed enough, but for me, the story took precedence over what didn’t work.

I find authors that write negative reviews without looking back generally do so because they don’t find anything to learn from what they’re reading. Every book has something for you to learn from it in one way or another, and the ones in your genre are the most important of all. To post a bad review is self-serving in the worst way in my eyes.

Before writing a negative review, ask yourself if it has any value aside from deterring people from reading and forming their own opinions, and burning a bridge in the meantime. Authors should support one another and offer their criticisms privately in a professional manner, or risk being seen as a hack themselves. 

To read more of Julie’s work, check out Running Home

Running Home - CoverDeath hovers around Ellie Morgan like the friend nobody wants. She doesn’t belong in snowswept Ossipee, New Hampshire; she doesn’t belong in the frigging gift shop she works at, she doesn’t belong with people that death will always take from her, and she definitely does not belong at this black tie party with Kat. But that is where she is, and where he is. Nicholas French, the man who mystifies her with a feeling of home she’s been missing, and impossible knowledge of her troubled soul.

Nicholas followed an abomination that is one of his own, but soon finds fate has driven him to New Hampshire as more than a bystander. He reveals himself to Ellie as being of the Shinigami, a heroic vampire order that “save” their victims from more tragic ends. He knows why Ellie is human repellent, and why physical agony grips them when apart. The Shinigami are cornered into isolated human lives, plucked out when they have no one left to be created for their higher purpose. Ellie is destined to be a legendary Shinigami, and Nicholas her creator.

Nicholas and Ellie’s fates intertwine closer when his latest victim in waiting turns out to be the only person who tethers her to this world, Kat. Fate will not be ignored, and in the only real choice Ellie has made in her life, she must determine a horrifying path; let the vampire who would make her a hero wither to shreds or sacrifice the life of her closest companion.

About the Author

Julie’s debut novel, Running Home, an Urban Fantasy  giving you vampires with a Japanese mythology twist will be published by Books of the Dead Press July 22nd, 2013. In the meantime, the Muscle and Wildcard of the Undead Duo is working on the sequel, Running Away, and a new and fun freakshow called The Harpy. Julie revels in all things Buffy, has a sick need for exotic reptiles, and drinks more coffee than Juan Valdez and his donkey combined, if that donkey is allowed to drink coffee.  Julie’s a black belt with an almost inappropriate love for martial arts. And pizza. And Rob Zombie. Julie lives in Plymouth, MA, constantly awaiting thunderstorms with her wildly supportive husband and two magnificent boys.

In addition to Running Home, you can also read her stories at Elephant Press and Opening Line Magazine.

How to connect with Julie:

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